Despite the chill in the air, many of you have been champing at the bit to slip on a wifebeater, draw Xs on the back of your hands, and slam-dance to classic East Coast hardcore and old-school straight-edge thrash.
When Boston's Slapshot makes its first trip to the desert in 20 years, you'll get your chance. Fans of hard and heavy chugga-chugga performed at light speed will dig these guys. Slapshot is known for rowdy shows, rowdy crowds, and an even rowdier frontman, Jack "Choke" Kelly, punk's reigning Archie Bunker disciple.
There is little doubt someone -- especially native New Yorkers, hip-hop lovers, and fans of political correctness -- will be offended by straight-edge stalwart "Choke" Kelly's onstage banter and his notoriously un-PC lyrics.
But what kind of punk show would it be without somebody getting pissed off about something?
Led by Kelly, Slapshot's only original remaining member, the band rose to prominence in the mid-'80s as part of the second wave of Boston hardcore and once featured members of even older-school bands Negative FX and Terminally Ill. The band is infamous for its constant lineup changes, and it's hard to walk the streets of Boston without bumping into a punk who didn't at least play a few shows with the band. By all reports, the current lineup holds its own and then some.
Also appearing will be Tucson's Bricktop, whose brand of thug rock will fit right in with the boots-and-braces crowd that inevitably will come out of the woodwork for the show.
The real treat of the evening will be the first Phoenix appearance of Visual Discrimination of Cerritos, California. These veterans of the late-'80s straight-edge scene bring an East Coast vibe (read: more Cro-Mags than Slapshot) and add a West Coast thrash influence similar to that of Excel or Suicidal Tendencies (when they were relevant).
Tim Sawyer, Visual Discrimination's lead shouter and one of two remaining original members, described the 2014 version of the band like this: "I can't say we have evolved or gained any kind of maturity musically because we are playing faster now than we ever dreamed we would. We have always been known as kind of a stir-it-up, in-your-face, rough-crowd hardcore band."
Sawyer says Visual Discrimination has about 13 new songs recorded, so fans should look forward to new material at the show to go along with old favorites from their earlier Nemesis Records releases, Step Back and Listen (1988) and In Vain (1990).
Local Celt-punk band Cockswain will open the night at 9 p.m.
If you don't get there early, you won't get in. Donations for the touring bands will be accepted and encouraged, but technically there is no cover for the 21-and-over show.
Slapshot is scheduled to perform Friday, February 7, at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe.
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